One of the resources I found that is supposed to be useful when estimating cost, effort, and activity duration is called SLIM Estimate. “SLIM-Estimate is a resource that is used to estimate the cost, time, and effort required to satisfy a given set of system requirements and determine the best strategy for designing and implementing your software or systems project” (Quantitative Software Management, Inc., 2013). This resource in conjunction with QSM database ensures that the estimations are accurately estimated.
This program seems to be a good resource that will be easy to use, and basically does everything an instructional designer would need it to do. This site has a demo that shows you the different uses of this program, they have the option of doing the SLIM product tour, and it also has the option of doing a conference meeting that will show you how to check estimates to make sure they are valid. I think the demo, tour, and the option of having someone that is willing and able to help show you how to use the product is definitely helpful. I think it helps to ensure proper and successful use of the product.
The other resource I found is Total Metrics Scope Project Sizing 4.1 Software. This product seems to have many uses and capabilities for every aspect of designing no matter what phase your project is in. It can be used to get project estimates, monitor scope creep, negotiate price variations between the supplier and client, and monitor the completion of each step, estimate effort hours, and many more functions. These are all projected benefits for this software given by the website.
After watching the demo of this product and seeing that it has some tutorials to show you how to maneuver through the site just like SLIM estimate, makes me feel like it is also another pretty good resource. It has many uses such as “graphically model software functionality from planning through to production and support, quantitatively tracks multiple change requests within a release to give early warning of potential project blow-outs, allows for very accurate detailed counting, linking each process to each data element and file for quantifying scope variations in a contract” (Total Metrics), and many more uses.
Quantitative Software Management, Inc., (2013). Retrieved from: http://www.qsm.com/tools/slim-estimate?gclid=CJrbqr_R8LkCFYxaMgod1yUAxw
Total Metrics. Retrieved from: http://www.totalmetrics.com/function-point-software/scope-project-sizing-software